Fairbanks Woman Trampled by Moose
Both Beck and Martin said the fact the moose had a broken rear leg probably saved her life because the injured moose was unable to support itself while trampling Beck and fell.
“If it hadn’t had a broken leg and fallen we’d be looking at a funeral, not a four- or five-hour hospital stay,” Martin said.
Cause for concern
The moose had been hanging around their house and their neighbors’ house for about a week before the incident, Beck said. In fact, just minutes before the attack, Martin said he opened the door to see if the moose was anywhere in sight. He didn’t see it because it was hidden in a corner behind the arctic entry.
They could tell it had a broken leg, and at one point, Beck suggested calling the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to report it. But Martin told her it wouldn’t do any good because he believed Fish and Game personnel wouldn’t do anything about it.
Alaska State Troopers had received a call about the moose the day before the attack but didn’t have any troopers available to respond and referred the call to the Department of Fish and Game, troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said. “It came in as a moose in a neighborhood that people were concerned about,” she said.
Two staff members from Fish and Game spoke with the caller who reported the moose Friday and were told the moose was hanging out in a backyard and that its right rear leg “didn’t look right” and there was blood on the snow where the animal had lain, agency spokeswoman Cathie Harms said.
Nobody from Fish and Game investigated because there was no mention of aggressive behavior on the moose’s part, she said.
Instead, Fish and Game staff told the caller to monitor the moose and encouraged her to alert neighbors that the moose was in the area, Harms said. They told her to call troopers during the weekend if it appeared the moose was fatally injured, she said.
The fact that nobody from Fish and Game investigated the situation, even though the moose was only about one-quarter mile from Woodriver Elementary School, is not uncommon, Harms said.
“We don’t have enough staff to respond every time someone reports a moose in a yard that’s injured,” she said. “A call that there’s a moose in a yard close to the river anywhere near town is pretty normal.
“If it had been a call about an aggressive moose near a school, that would be a different thing,” Harms said. “That’s not the story we got. The report we got was a potentially injured moose, but there was no indication it was a fatally injured moose.”
Fish and Game personnel don’t like to kill an injured moose unless the animal can’t survive on its own, and moose with broken legs have on several occasions survived and produced offspring, Harms said.